Update - July 12, 2009
A Final Word on "Concerned
Nazarenes" and Orlando Convention wrap up
Several have written wondering about the outcome of our efforts during the General Assembly of the Church of the
Nazarene in Orlando earlier this month.
writer simply wrote:
I was wondering if the denomination took any specific
action or vote on the matter. Thanks, Ron
Here is my response.
Thanks for writing!
There was no action taken by the Nazarene Church as a body on the matter
of the Emergent Church philosophy. Also, there was at least one very
pro-Emergent seminar session presented at the General Assembly by John
Middendorf of Oklahoma City,
who is perhaps the best known Emergent-leaning pastor in the Nazarene
denomination. During the Q&A time after Middendorf spoke, Pastor Joe
Standiforth of Brownsville, TX, stood and asked if there was any forum
where he or other "Concerned Nazarenes" might be allowed to present an
opposing view. Pastor Joe was summarily shut down - and that was with
General Superintendent Dr. Jess Middendorf (John's father) sitting in
row, I am told. Though I was not present at the Middendorf session, the
pastor of a prominent Nazarene church from a major southern city (who
attended two of the seminars that I presented while in Orlando) told me
personally that he was “ashamed and embarrassed” for the way Pastor Standiforth was treated for merely asking a question that opposed the
endorsement of Emergent thinking.
we have known for quite a while, opposing voices are not welcome when
criticizing Emergent ideology in at least some sectors of the Church of
the Nazarene and elsewhere. As I have constantly cited, Emergents rarely
attempt to present a defense for their beliefs and ideas. Rather than
answering the charges that biblically-based thinkers bring, many
Emergents simply use the unseemly political tactic of attempting to
discredit their opponents through character assassination, baseless
charges, guilt-by-association and the like. I know those are serious
charges but I am all too aware of this first hand. Recently I have been
called numerous things such as a "liar," "unqualified," "uneducated,"
a "trouble maker," a "church splitter," an "online discernment
ministry," a "fundamentalist," a "Calvinist" and on and on - all to
simply try and portray me and our ministry in what the Emergents would
consider a negative light. One pastor even inferred that because
one-time radio host, Bob Larson, endorsed my book,
From Rock to Rock, in
1991 I couldn't be trusted. It didn't matter that I haven't had any
communication whatsoever with Bob Larson in 15 years and for better or
for worse have never endorsed his ministry! The fact that Larson
interviewed me long ago was in this particular Nazarene pastor's eyes
the best argument he had to try and discredit me. To this very day,
Emergent Nazarenes have attempted again and again to make me
the issue but have failed to address the real problem - the
Emergent heresy they insist on promoting.
Moving on to perhaps the most important issue, it is apparent that there
is great disagreement inside the Church of the Nazarene concerning
biblical inerrancy. Their current articles of faith are very carefully
worded to avoid the idea that they affirm the Bible to be inerrant. I
perceive that this is how some in the Nazarene universities have
successfully introduced Open Theism and evolution without much
thing is certain - Bible believers in the Church of the Nazarene are not going to be
silent. Nor are they going to go away. I suspect (and hope) that at the
next General Assembly in 2013 there will be an even stronger push to
affirm inerrancy. That will probably mean a fairly nasty showdown IF
(and that's a big "if") there is a large and organized push to bring the
issue to the floor of the convention.
Concerning the three new General Superintendents elected by Nazarenes in
Orlando... What I am hearing from conservative Nazarenes seems to
indicate that the three, Eugenio Duarte (Africa), David W. Graves (U.S.)
and Stan Toler (U.S.) are not in any way Emergent - at least not
publicly. Duarte did use the phrase “missional church” during his
address to the Assembly in Orlando but the consensus is that he may
actually be the most biblically evangelistic and conservative of the
three new G.S.’s. (His use of this Emergent buzzword may indeed hold a
completely different meaning than its use in Emergent teaching.) Though
I surely do not know with certainty, it would appear that the new G.S.’s
range from fairly to very conservative. Time will tell but from the
reaction I have read by some of the Emergent-minded Nazarenes it would
appear that the new General Superintendents are not what they had hoped
for. Praise the Lord! However, no one should presume that the election
of conservative General Superintendents fixes the encroachment of the
Emergent philosophy inside the Church of the Nazarene. As a
long-standing and well-known Nazarene evangelist told me yesterday,
"Regardless of the hope we might have in these three (G.S.'s), it still
remains our schools have to be purged of this heresy, along with
the professors promoting it, or we die as a denomination!"
Finally, as I mentioned in my video updates to our subscribers on June 26 and
27, I am so glad to have been involved in this effort with the group of
biblically solid "Concerned Nazarenes." Again, our efforts were surely
not without opposition and this opposition continues in some pretty ugly
and unbiblical ways. However, when the truth is obscured and error is
exalted, standing on the side of the Bible is always
the right thing to do - even if it's unpopular. Ultimately, anything we did in Orlando was for
one goal - that in the future the lost would hear the unadulterated
gospel of Jesus Christ faithfully taught and preached.
(For more on what transpired in Orlando see:
June 22, 26, 27 - Eric Barger and
"Concerned Nazarenes" to confront Emergent Error in Orlando.)
Visit Eric Barger and Take A Stand! Ministries at:
www.ericbarger.com - Now in our 26th year of "TAKING A STAND!"
are now scheduling seminars and conferences for 2009-10. For information
on bringing Eric Barger to your city see
Concerning the "Concerned
you would like a copy of the two hour and forty minute DVD presentation
that was distributed by the "Concerned Nazarenes" group during the
General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene in Orlando we would be happy to
send you one. (Order
The DVD features interviews with several outstanding Christian
speakers and writers who share my concerns about the Emergent
philosophy. They include: Johanna Michaelsen, Pastor Gary Gilley, Ray
Yungen, Mike Oppenheimer and Sandy Simpson.
(Please note that
DVD is broken into chapters for easy
viewing or using in Sunday School classes or small groups.)
To receive your copy of the DVD and
my "How to Spot the Emergent Church" brochure (of which 20,000 were
printed for distribution in Orlando) just click here.
We appreciate your prayers and your continued support. God bless you!
Rick Warren Preaches Unity to Muslim Group
I wrote highlighting an Indianapolis Star report that Rick Warren,
Pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California, was going to address the
convention of the Islamic Society of North America. He did so last weekend.
Similar to his P.E.A.C.E. plan, Warren called for Muslims and Christians to join
together to solve the major problems that face the people of the world. Oh, it sounds so lofty.
However, what he did not tell the Muslim group was that
personal faith in the biblical Jesus (as opposed to the "Jesus" mentioned in the
Qur'an) was their only eternal hope. Warren's July 4th speech (ironic?) was also
void of any mention of repentance as a prerequisite for salvation - the
same omission he made in The Purpose Driven Life. His address
serves as further confirmation of Dr. Warren's "Kingdom Now" view of
eschatology. This idea generally proposes that God has lost control of events on
the earth and that Christians are to defeat evil, solving the world's problems
and in doing so facilitate the return of Christ. Many who hold this view also
believe in "replacement theology," in which the role of Israel is usurped by
Some questioned after my
19th article came out as to why I was critical of Warren's forthcoming appearance
before the group. "Who else," I was asked, "would preach the Gospel to the
Muslims?" However, what Warren did last weekend sadly turned out pretty much as
I had suspected it would. More globalist blathering (I feel a chorus of "We are
the World" coming on), Rodney King-like pleadings ("Can't we all just get
along?") and no clear witness of the authentic Jesus Christ to a group of people
who desperately need to know that their version of Jesus is a counterfeit and
NOT the one that authentic Christians serve. Warren's call for Muslim-Christian
unity is just one more small step along the path towards the Antichrist's One-World
religion prophesied in Revelation chapter 13.
I encourage you to read what our friend
Ed Decker wrote concerning Warren's
address to the ISNA. Ed also addressed the notion that Michael Jackson converted
to Islam before his death and included some great resource information comparing Islam
and Christianity as well.
Read Ed's article here.
Have You Heard?
News You Need to Know
1) U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg
believes that legalized abortion resulting from the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision
was to rid the country of those "that we don't want to have too many of." (read
2) A motion was introduced at the Southern
Baptist Convention last month which called for the Southern Baptist's Lifeway
Christian Bookstores to remove several questionable books including
3) Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine
Jefferts Schori says it's "heresy" to believe that an individual can be saved
through a sinner's prayer of repentance. (read
4) Teen Sex linked to children's TV
viewing habits (read
5) Pope Benedict calls for a "New
Economic Order" complete with worldwide redistribution of wealth! Read that
"world socialism" - can Antichrist system be far off? (watch
New resources concerning
Open Theism - See five new links in the menu at:
Trends in the Church"
to Eric here
(Please do NOT click "reply" to write
Recent Ministry Updates:
June 22, 26, 27 - Eric Barger and
"Concerned Nazarenes" to confront Emergent Error in Orlando
- Rick Warren to Speak at Islamic Society Convention
June 16 - Barger Video Upsets Emergent Defenders
May 29 - Biblical Nazarenes Rally
April 14 - How to Spot the Emergent Church
April 2 - Looking for Truth in a Tattooed World
March 2009 - DVD Special
March 12 - Warren, Obama, The Shack, Emergent and more
powerful DVD message illustrates the desperate need for clear and decisive
biblical apologetics in the Church today. Find out why author and Christian
apologist, Eric Barger, believes that the popularity of William "Paul"
Young's emotionally charged story, The Shack,
signals an unprecedented lack of discernment from within Christianity.
the unbiblical, unorthodox theology contained in this runaway bestseller and
soon-to-be-released motion picture and how it threatens to deceive untold
numbers of both Christians and seekers in our midst.
Live Seminar Presentation
Watch Clip of Video
Add to Cart
CD Add to
Today, in an effort to
redefine Christianity, alarming numbers of popular yet apostate
“evangelical” leaders known as “The Emerging Church Movement” are abandoning
historic and biblical standards.
This unscriptural, even deadly movement is part of the predicted “great
falling away” of 2 Thessalonians 2:3 as Emergent leaders now proclaim that
the Church has failed in its mission, that doctrine is irrelevant and that
the very basis of Christian thinking has always been faulty. In this seminar
Eric defines Emergent thinking and terms, concisely exposes the practical
and doctrinal errors of the Emergents and draws the striking parallels to
New Age thought.
Live Seminar Presentation
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DVD Add to Cart
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